How to use Ibuprofen – Complete Guide

When you are taking any NSAID, you should be aware of the right dosage, how to use the drug and what if you overdose the drug. Knowing about the symptoms of overdose can help you take immediate action to treat the side effects of overdose. Let us learn about the Ibuprofen dosage and the treatment given in case of overdose.

Dosing Information

Adult dose – Dysmenorrhea

200-400mg to be taken orally after every 4-6 hours as required

Adult dose – Osteoarthritis

Initial dose

400-800mg  to be taken orally after every 6-8 hours

Maintenance dose

Can be increased to maximum 3200 mg as daily dose based on patient’s tolerance and response.

Adult dose – Rheumatoid Arthritis

Initial dose

400-800mg  to be taken orally after every 6-8 hours

Maintenance dose

Can be increased to maximum 3200 mg as daily dose based on patient’s tolerance and response.

Normal adult dose – Pain


Mild- moderate pain- 200-400mg to be taken orally as required. Doses exceeding 400mg  have not been considered in order to provide greater effects.

Normal adult dose – Fever

200-400mg to be taken orally after every 4-6 hours as required.

Normal Pediatric dose – Fever

Above 6 months up to 12 months

5mg/kg – dose for temperature below 102.5 degrees F- to be taken orally after every 6-8 hours as required.

10mg/kg- dose for temperature above or equal to 102.5 degree F- to be taken orally after every 6-8 hours as required.

Overdose treatment – Ibuprofen

Do not exceed the dose of Ibuprofen than recommended. An overdose of Ibuprofen can harm your intestines and stomach. Use Ibuprofen in small doses to get rid of swelling, pain or fever.

In case of overdose, contact your medical help immediately. Overdose symptoms can be

  • Pain
  • Drowsiness
  • Bloody or black stools
  • Fainting
  • Coma
  • Shallow breathing
  • Vomiting
  • Stomach pain
  • Nausea

If you observe some rare side-effects that can be as a result of Ibuprofen overdose. Call you emergency help immediately. You can contact poison control company. In case of overdose the patient is given gastrointestinal decontamination treatment, using 1g/kg of activated charcoal. It becomes difficult to treat the patient if Ibuprofen ingestion lasts for more than 1 hour. It is important to know that Ibuprofen overdose in children can cause seizures, emesis is not suggested to be induced at this stage of overdose. The symptoms occur within four hours of ingestion so the patient needs to be monitored at least during that period.

If Ibuprofen overdose is higher than 400mg/kg, it is recommended that patient should be hospitalized and should be kept under doctor’s observation. Some of the basic and immediate lab tests conducted is arterial blood gas, BUN, electrolyte levels and liver function tests. It is always suggested that in case of overdose do not try self help ideas or home remedies as it can be fatal.  The more time is passed, the more complications will arise and sometimes it becomes difficult  to treat Ibuprofen overdose. So always ask for emergency medical help to avoid risks.

Is Ibuprofen recommended during pregnancy and breastfeeding?

During the phase of pregnancy or breastfeeding, no mother would ever want to do any harm to her baby. Ibuprofen is not recommended during pregnancy, mostly during third trimester of pregnancy. Like many other drugs, Ibuprofen is given a category “ pregnancy risk” by FDA.  This means the use of Ibuprofen can certainly harm your baby during the third trimester of your pregnancy.

Research says that there are chances that the use of Ibuprofen can cause a passage in your bay’s heart, to shut prematurely, leading to lung, heart damage or even death. If you use Ibuprofen with other NSAIDs during the last three months of your pregnancy, it can lower the levels of amniotic fluid and result in high BP in new born baby’s lungs.

Ibuprofen is not suitable throughout the pregnancy and some studies say that using Ibuprofen in first trimester of pregnancy can increase the risk of miscarriage. If you have already used some doses of ibuprofen during pregnancy, you need not worry as a small amount will not lead to any problems.

If you still feel Ibuprofen is necessary for you, speak to your doctor to know about possible benefits and risks.

Effects of Ibuprofen while Breastfeeding

Because of its low levels passed in breast milk, Ibuprofen is choice of nursing mothers t and are used as anti-inflammatory and analgesic medicine.

However, some manufacturers do not recommended use of Ibuprofen in nursing mothers. Well, taking any medication during breastfeeding worries a mother about her baby as whether the medication is safe for her baby or not. Some mothers also worry about the effects of any medications, which might lead to decrease in milk production.

Ibuprofen is transferred in breast milk but in very low quantities. As per the studies, many mothers haven’t noticed any side effects of using Ibuprofen during breastfeeding. If taken in low doses as advised by the doctor, hasn’t shown any negative effects in mother or the baby.

So, just as per the studies there are no side effects as such on baby or mom. Still it is recommended that it can affect the health of the mother if she is suffering from cardiovascular disease or any other health problem.

If you are feeding your baby and want to use Ibuprofen, consult your doctor for the right dosage. Since there are no evidences of Ibuprofen being harmful to the mother or baby while breastfeeding, but it is always better to consult your physician to be safe.

High doses of Ibuprofen can be harmful for you, speak to your doctor about using Ibuprofen. Let your doctor know for which health ailment you want to use Ibuprofen for, so that you can breastfeed your baby without any worries, once the doctor recommends a right dose of Ibuprofen for you.

You don’t want to harm your baby and depending on your health condition, you can use ibuprofen as prescribed by your doctor. Make sure you do not exceed the dose prescribed by your doctor to ensure your baby’s safety.

Ibuprofen treats inflammation and pain

Ibuprofen is a popular NSAID. It helps reduce hormones that are responsible of causing pain and inflammation in your body. Ibuprofen is basically used to treat pain, inflammation, reduce fever caused due to many other conditions like toothache, headache, menstrual cramps, arthritis, back pain or minor injury.

Ibuprofen is used to treat adults as well children not less than 6 months.

Brand Name: Motrin, Advil, Pediacare Fever, Medipren, Nuprin etc.

Some important information related to Ibuprofen

Ibuprofen can enhance the risk of heart stroke or heart attack which can be fatal too, especially if Ibuprofen is used for a prolonged period, taken in high doses or if you are suffering from a heart disease. Even if you do not have any risk factors or heart disease, you can have heart attack or stroke while consuming Ibuprofen.

Avoid using Ibuprofen just after or before heart surgery (bypass). Ibuprofen can also result in intestinal bleeding, stomach bleeding, which can be fatal too.  These conditions can be noticed in older adults and occur without warning.

Avoid using Ibuprofen if you have allergic reaction, have asthma or after using aspirin or any other NSAID.

Check with your physician if the medication is safe for you and also let your doctor know if you have

  • Asthma
  • Liver disease
  • History of stomach bleeding or ulcers
  • Fluid retention
  • High cholesterol, diabetes, heart disease or high BP.
  • History of heart stroke, attack or blood clot
  • Kidney disease

You should also avoid drinking alcohol while taking Ibuprofen and do not use aspirin when using Ibuprofen. Drinking alcohol with Ibuprofen can lead to stomach bleeding.

If you are using aspirin to prevent heart attack or stroke, do not use Ibuprofen as Ibuprofen can reduce the effect of aspirin to protect blood vessels and heart. If there is a necessity of using both drugs, take Ibuprofen minimum 8 hours prior or half an hour after you take aspirin.

Check with your doctor if you are             taking medicines for pain, cold or allergy. Many OTP medicines consists aspirin or similar medicines as Ibuprofen.  It can be harmful to use too many medications together. Check the label to know about the ingredients present in each medication.

Is Ibuprofen addictive?

Ibuprofen is used by individuals to manage pain (mild- moderate); this leads to dependency and tolerance on Ibuprofen due to the feeling that their body will not functional normal, without using Ibuprofen.

Some people use Ibuprofen not only to treat physical pain but also to deal with emotional pain. In cases where men and women go through traumatic phase in their lives feel the need of to anesthetize pain by using Ibuprofen.

If  the dependency continues for a long time, it can lead to physical risks as well as emotional risks too. With proper consultation and guidance one can overcome the drug dependency and lead a healthy life.

Drugs are meant to treat your pain and should not lead to drug dependency, so make sure you use Ibuprofen as directed by your physician.

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